Whats your reason for wanting to make your own incense? Mine was wanting to be able to make something from scratch and make it personal to me. Using what you may have growing in your garden or foraging within your local wildlife (please be respectful when gathering wild herbs, and never take more than you actually need).
Make it part of ritual, when celebrating the full or new moons, or the major sabbatts. Gathering your ingredients and making the incense yourself or with a group of people, makes it fun and exciting.
Making your own incense is very therapeutic, the gathering of the herbs, using fruits, berries, honey and even wines! Drying,mixing, then crushing and grinding with a mortar and pestle is a great bonding session when done with others. Incorporating making your own incense in your magickal practices, not only connects you to your magickal workings, it centers you in your work whilst working with all the plant spirits at hand.
As with everything it takes plenty of trial and error. There is no hard or fast rule as to how much to add of anything. Intuitively work with what you have locally available to you is always the best way.
One recipe that I was taught by my mother & grandmother and she was taught by her mother & grandmother before her, I will continue to keep to the tradition with my two daughters and their daughters also. This recipe is one of my favourites, its a sweet smelling earthy blend, that was used in Roman, Greek and Egyptian temples.
So sacred was this blend it was said that its formula was engraved onto temple walls. Now as with regions and changing of the times this formula has got variations. It can relieve insomnia by providing and inducing deep sleep, It is also protective and clearing. Some also use Kyphi incense as an aphrodisiac blend. But however you use it in your home make sure you always take the safety precautions needed with burning anything indoors.
My blends are not self igniting and for this reason you would need a burner or a small cauldron. How I prepare my mini cauldron is, I place a little sand at the bottom then I place my charcoal disc and light it. Once the disc is lit, sprinkle a little at a time of your prepared incense.
How to make your Kyphi Incense:
The ingredients needed are:
- Take each of your herbs and grind them down individually either with a mortar & pestle or a coffee grinder. Then set them aside.
- Blend equal parts of acacia, henna, and juniper, soak these in the red wine.
- Allow to soak for 7 days. Set aside
- Place in a separate bowl your raisins and add some red wine to cover, set aside also for 7 days.
- Take equal parts of cardamom, calamus, cinnamon, peppermint, bay leaves, galangal, and orisroot and mix together.
- Add to this mix a little at a time a table spoon of honey and a table spoon of myrrh powder. Set aside for the 7 days.
- Now take your herbs and raisins soaking in wine drain (keep this liquid) and add these to your honey/myrrh/spice mix..
- Blend, crush and grind this combined mix until you have a paste like texture. If needed add some of your reserved liquid. If you still need more liquid add a little more red wine.
- You can now place your paste into a sealed container, and use a table spoon at a time into a simmering pot of hot water to release the fragrance
- Or take it a step further by spreading it out onto trays and dry the paste out. this can take weeks, or you can use your oven on low (with the oven door slightly ajar to release the moisture and not to burn your incense) or use a dehydrator if you have one.
- Once dry break into chunks or grind down into powder and burn as mentioned above.
- This blend is more for the smoke (element of air) than the element of fire
If you would like to make this a self igniting blend (for the element of fire) you would need 1tbsp sawdust, 1 or 2 tsp potassium nitrate (depending how much pow you want, be careful with this ingredient, don't ask me how I know ) , 1tbsp of the ground up Kyphi.
If you really don't have the resources or the time to make this you can find it in store here.
Happy incense making...